Hello, GEORGIA! (+55 Miles)
December 9, 2010: Migration Day 61

Ultralight pilot Richard van Heuvelen leads young Whooping cranes on their first migration.
Photo Mark Chenoweth
How can you identify who's flying this plane?

Ten cranes follow Richard's ultralight.

Richard took off with all ten crane-kids this morning, gleefully thinking, "Goodbye Alabama, hello GEORGIA!" Flying with crosswinds, they began to lose what ground speed they had and the birds reluctantly followed. "When we were about 20 miles out from our destination, they got a burst of energy, said Richard. "They flew ahead of me and began a descent and could not be caught. Then they turned to the south and I was able to head them off and as I slowly descended they were enticed to once again follow the trike. With a slower rate of descent they were more cooperative but the air got rougher the lower we got. I had to fly faster to stay ahead of the birds. I made wide circles around the new pensite, keeping the birds near the trike to prevent them from wanting to thermal and take off. They landed safely and we're in Georgia!"

In the Classroom: Journal or Discussion

(a) Color the most recent state we have passed through on your personal migration map. Where is Florida from there? Then tally up the total miles migrated so far. What milestone will they achieve on their next flight, which will be another 61 miles farther? TIP: Click the "Data" link under the map for a quick list of flight days and miles gone, or check your own journal page/Miles Flown chart.

(b-for-bonus) How can you identify who's flying the ultralight plane? What are three identifiers on Operation Migration's ultralight planes? Why do you think these planes have identifiers?

Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure presented in cooperation with the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).